Day Fourteen – 2 Hours of Pre-trip Inspection, then driving the rest of the day

No skills today. Dammit. After the disaster that was parallel parking yesterday, I was hoping to get more time on the range, but all the other trucks are fighting for that space now. Therefore, we went out driving most of the day.

I got the time for my test, this coming Thursday, 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM. Perfect, the exact slot I was hoping for. Get ‘er done before the traffic starts picking up.

The school is in a light industrial area, so normally traffic doesn’t really start picking up until after noon. By 4:00 it’s a nightmare to drive around that area. So, hopefully, I’ll hit the road around 8:00 AM(ish). Perfect. Still, if you are awake that early this Thursday, and want to throw some thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes my way, I would appreciate it.

I drove the most today. From light traffic in the morning to the heavy stuff in the late afternoon. Today was the first time I actually looked around when I was driving and thought, “Yeah, I think I can do this for a living.” It was a nice thought. My next thought was that if I do actually go OTR , then I probably won’t be driving in heavy city traffic all day, every day. Hopefully. We’ll see.

The tables have totally turned on fellow students Guy One and Guy Two. Guy Two, who started out as timid, unable to shift and was literally taken out of the drivers seat by our trainer Military Guy early on, has now grown into the best shifter, and probably the best driver, out of the three of us. Guy One, however, continues his downward spiral of grinding gears, missed shifts and terrifying stops. With each mistake he gets more frustrated with himself, and the more frustrated he gets, the more mistakes he makes. Military Guy, who I once said had the patience of a saint, is close to losing that divine virtue. He has cajoled, soothed, yelled, explained, taught, yelled again, and done almost everything in his teaching toolbox to turn this around, but it’s not working. Guy One is defeating himself. And sometimes that is the most terrifying and destructive enemy you can battle.

He’s got one day to turn it around.

I’m off to study for my Pre-trip.

Properly mounted and secured. No abrasions, bulges or cuts. All hardware present. I keep chanting those words like some ancient charm, a spell to drive away the spirit of breakdowns. Which it is, in a way.

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